John 20

1 Now on the first day of the week, Miryam from Magdala went early, while it was yet dark, to the tomb, and saw the stone taken away from the tomb.
2 She ran therefore, and came to Shim`on Kefa, and to the other talmid whom Yeshua loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have laid him!"
3 Kefa therefore went forth, and the other talmid, and they went toward the tomb.
4 They both ran together. The other talmid outran Kefa, and came to the tomb first.
5 Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn't enter in.
6 Then Shim`on Kefa came, following him, and entered into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying,
7 and the cloth that was on his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself.
8 Then the other talmid also entered in therefore, who came first to the tomb, and he saw, and believed.
9 For as yet they didn't know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
10 So the talmidim went away again to their own homes.
11 But Miryam was standing outside at the tomb weeping. So, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb,
12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Yeshua had lain.
13 They told her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have laid him."
14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Yeshua standing, and didn't know that it was Yeshua.
15 Yeshua said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?" She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."
16 Yeshua said to her, "Miryam." She turned and said to him, "Rhabbouni!" which is to say, "Teacher!"
17 Yeshua said to her, "Don't touch me, for I haven't yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.'"
18 Miryam from Magdala came and told the talmidim that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her.
19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were locked where the talmidim were assembled, for fear of the Yehudim, Yeshua came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Shalom be to you."
20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The talmidim therefore were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 Yeshua therefore said to them again, "Shalom be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
22 When he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Ruach HaKodesh!
23 Whoever's sins you forgive, they are forgiven to them. Whoever's sins you retain, they have been retained."
24 But T'oma, one of the twelve, called Didymus, wasn't with them when Yeshua came.
25 The other talmidim therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
26 After eight days again his talmidim were inside, and T'oma with them. Yeshua came, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst, and said, "Shalom be to you."
27 Then he said to T'oma, "Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don't be unbelieving, but believing."
28 T'oma answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
29 Yeshua said to him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed."
30 Therefore Yeshua did many other signs in the presence of his talmidim, which are not written in this book;
31 but these are written, that you may believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

John 20 Commentary

Chapter 20

The sepulchre found to be empty. (1-10) Christ appears to Mary. (11-18) He appears to the disciples. (19-25) The unbelief of Thomas. (26-29) Conclusion. (30,31)

Verses 1-10 If Christ gave his life a ransom, and had not taken it again, it would not have appeared that his giving it was accepted as satisfaction. It was a great trial to Mary, that the body was gone. Weak believers often make that the matter of complaint, which is really just ground of hope, and matter of joy. It is well when those more honoured than others with the privileges of disciples, are more active than others in the duty of disciples; more willing to take pains, and run hazards, in a good work. We must do our best, and neither envy those who can do better, nor despise those who do as well as they can, though they come behind. The disciple whom Jesus loved in a special manner, and who therefore in a special manner loved Jesus, was foremost. The love of Christ will make us to abound in every duty more than any thing else. He that was behind was Peter, who had denied Christ. A sense of guilt hinders us in the service of God. As yet the disciples knew not the Scripture; they Christ must rise again from the dead.

Verses 11-18 We are likely to seek and find, when we seek with affection, and seek in tears. But many believers complain of the clouds and darkness they are under, which are methods of grace for humbling their souls, mortifying their sins, and endearing Christ to them. A sight of angels and their smiles, will not suffice, without a sight of Jesus, and God's smiles in him. None know, but those who have tasted it, the sorrows of a deserted soul, which has had comfortable evidences of the love of God in Christ, and hopes of heaven, but has now lost them, and walks in darkness; such a wounded spirit who can bear? Christ, in manifesting himself to those that seek him, often outdoes their expectations. See how Mary's heart was in earnest to find Jesus. Christ's way of making himself known to his people is by his word; his word applied to their souls, speaking to them in particular. It might be read, Is it my Master? See with what pleasure those who love Jesus speak of his authority over them. He forbids her to expect that his bodily presence look further, than the present state of things. Observe the relation to God, from union with Christ. We, partaking of a Divine nature, Christ's Father is our Father; and he, partaking of the human nature, our God is his God. Christ's ascension into heaven, there to plead for us, is likewise an unspeakable comfort. Let them not think this earth is to be their home and rest; their eye and aim, and earnest desires, must be upon another world, and this ever upon their hearts, I ascend, therefore I must seek the things which are above. And let those who know the word of Christ, endeavour that others should get good from their knowledge.

Verses 19-25 This was the first day of the week, and this day is afterwards often mentioned by the sacred writers; for it was evidently set apart as the Christian sabbath, in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. The disciples had shut the doors for fear of the Jews; and when they had no such expectation, Jesus himself came and stood in the midst of them, having miraculously, though silently, opened the doors. It is a comfort to Christ's disciples, when their assemblies can only be held in private, that no doors can shut out Christ's presence. When He manifests his love to believers by the comforts of his Spirit, he assures them that because he lives, they shall live also. A sight of Christ will gladden the heart of a disciple at any time; and the more we see of Jesus, the more we shall rejoice. He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, thus showing that their spiritual life, as well as all their ability for their work, would be derived from him, and depended upon him. Every word of Christ which is received in the heart by faith, comes accompanied by this Divine breathing; and without this there is neither light nor life. Nothing is seen, known, discerned, or felt of God, but through this. After this, Christ directed the apostles to declare the only method by which sin would be forgiven. This power did not exist at all in the apostles as a power to give judgment, but only as a power to declare the character of those whom God would accept or reject in the day of judgment. They have clearly laid down the marks whereby a child of God may be discerned and be distinguished from a false professor; and according to what they have declared shall every case be decided in the day of judgment. When we assemble in Christ's name, especially on his holy day, he will meet with us, and speak peace to us. The disciples of Christ should endeavour to build up one another in their most holy faith, both by repeating what they have heard to those that were absent, and by making known what they have experienced. Thomas limited the Holy One of Israel, when he would be convinced by his own method or not at all. He might justly have been left in his unbelief, after rejecting such abundant proofs. The fears and sorrows of the disciples are often lengthened, to punish their negligence.

Verses 26-29 That one day in seven should be religiously observed, was an appointment from the beginning. And that, in the kingdom of the Messiah, the first day of the week should be that solemn day, was pointed out, in that Christ on that day once and again met his disciples in a religious assembly. The religious observance of that day has come down to us through every age of the church. There is not an unbelieving word in our tongues, nor thought in our minds, but it is known to the Lord Jesus; and he was pleased to accommodate himself even to Thomas, rather than leave him in his unbelief. We ought thus to bear with the weak, ( romans 15:1 romans 15:2 ) . This warning is given to all. If we are faithless, we are Christless and graceless, hopeless and joyless. Thomas was ashamed of his unbelief, and cried out, My Lord and my God. He spoke with affection, as one that took hold of Christ with all his might; "My Lord and my God." Sound and sincere believers, though slow and weak, shall be graciously accepted of the Lord Jesus. It is the duty of those who read and hear the gospel, to believe, to embrace the doctrine of Christ, and that ( 1 John. 5:11 )

Verses 30-31 There were other signs and proofs of our Lord's resurrection, but these were committed to writing, that all might believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Saviour of sinners, and the Son of God; that, by this faith, they might obtain eternal life, by his mercy, truth, and power. May we believe that Jesus is the Christ, and believing may we have life through his name.

John 20 Commentaries